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Present perfect (and past simple) by Sarn Rich
- Lesson Plan

Preliminary Information

Time: 1 hour

: Pre-Intermediate

Review and give oral practice of Present Perfect for life experiences in contrast to the Past Simple for specified times.

Timetable Fit:
Part of the structural syllabus, following the Past Simple, before a speaking skills lesson in which the stds practice asking each other about their professional experience.

Lesson rationale
Some of the stds in the group never seem to use the present perfect, while others use it when they should use the past simple.
This may be attributed to:
- their different English-learning experiences before attending the class
- confusing accounts may have been gathered in the past
- differences in meaning between English & Spanish corresponding forms. In Spanish it is normal to use the formal equivalent to the present perfect with time references, & obligatory when referring to actions & events earlier on the same day, producing errors like:
*Today I've finished work early because I've started at seven o'clock this morning. (Coe in Swam (ed) 'Learner English' CUP:82)

I feel that once it is made clear that the present perfect is impossible where there is a definite time reference, the stds will be able to discriminate more confidently between when they should use the present perfect & when they should use the past simple.

The last listening & final speaking activity are included to familiarise the stds with the kinds of situations in which we use the different forms in practice.

They have a good grip of Past Simple and Past Continuous. Some of them use Present Perfect occasionally already, but some will be new to it.

Anticipated Problems and Solutions:
Some may not know any of the past participles, so I'll put them in pairs to teach each other. The last activity requires some imagination, which I hope to fire with preceding input.

Board, HO1 and HO2 Tape, Picture Prompt cards.


Stage 1: Presentation - 7 mins
On the board display 6 utterances spoken at a party with Present Perfect and Past Simple in different colours.

- I've driven a BMW but I prefer Japanese cars.
- Really! I drove a BMW when I was living in Germany. I loved it.
- Dustin Hoffman is really nice. I met him in 1995.
- Oh, I've never met a film star.
- I cooked dinner yesterday.
- I've cooked dinner lots of time.

Pairs listen and read and discuss what they think is the difference in form and usage
Elicit which corresponds to what in the timeline

Stage 2: Reinforcement - 10 mins
Elicit and write up Infinitive, Past Simple and Past participle
Pairs fill in the gaps on HO1, stuck on the walls
After checking, pairs fill in gaps on HO2 (on reverse of HO1), then listen to check.

Stage 3: Dictogloss - 10 mins
Draw attention to 3 more people at the party and dictogloss what they're saying:- Have you ever been to Paris? - No, I haven't.- Have you ever been to Paris? - Yes, I have.
Drill, and elicit the next question and what happens next: - When did you go?…

Stage 4: Controlled Practice - 6 mins
Give Stds cards with pictures to prompt questions. e.g. 'Have you ever drunk three bottles of wine?'
Stds mingle practising the dictogloss dialogue

Stage 5: Listening - 7 mins
Introduce another person A at the party, with 3 picture prompts to elicit what he's saying:e.g. 'I've jumped out of a window'
Pairs predict what the other two sentences are, then listen to check
Introduce another character B who doesn't believe A's statements are all true
Elicit a possible question from B
Stds listen to A and B's dialogue and decide which of A's three statements are false.

Stage 6: FreePractice - 20 mins
Stds each write 2 true and 1 false statement about their life experiences, in the Present Perfect, then question each other to decide which are true and which false.

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